GOLDEN, BILLY (9 JUNE 1858–29 JAN 1926)
DOI link for GOLDEN, BILLY (9 JUNE 1858–29 JAN 1926)
GOLDEN, BILLY (9 JUNE 1858–29 JAN 1926) book
American vaudeville singer and comedian, born in Cincinnati. He started doing a blackface act in 1874, and in 1878 teamed with John Merritt. Golden’s first records were Columbia cylinders of ca. 1893, beginning a 30-year recording career for many labels. He may have been the first artist to record for Berliner. His best-selling recording was “Turkey in the Straw,” cited by Walsh as “an infectious masterpiece”; he inscribed it for many labels, beginning with Berliner #726× (9 Dec 1896), and sold millions of copies. Victor’s 1927 catalog still carried it (#17256), the only survivor from the ”40 Golden Titles” in the catalog of a decade earlier. Other important work was in duets with J. Hughes, such as “Clamy Green,” and “Bears’Oil,” which had enormous sales. Golden’s last records were for Columbia in 1922. [Brooks 1979; Walsh 1944/6.]
One of the earliest records issued from the West Coast, by the Golden Record Co., Los Angeles, from 1922.